News Briefs: Capus Named President of NBC News

Dec 5, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Steve Capus, the acting NBC News president since Neal Shapiro took his leave as chief of the division in September, has earned the permanent title of president of the No. 1 network news operation. He will continue to report to NBC Universal Television Group President Jeff Zucker and will oversee NBC News, MSNBC and the NBC News Channel.

CBS Reigns at Business Emmys

CBS dominated the Third Annual Emmy Awards for Business and Financial Reporting presented last Thursday by the National Television Academy. Past CBS News President Andrew Heyward spoke about the digital revolution’s effect on TV journalism, and three stories produced by his former colleagues earned Emmys. One of the award-winning CBS News stories was a “60 Minutes” report about Internet firm Google reported by Lesley Stahl and produced by Rome Hartman, who will become executive producer of “CBS Evening News” in January. Another was Bill Geist’s report for “CBS News Sunday Morning” about the man behind the heavy-duty and high-priced Viking ranges that have become hot items for home kitchens. The third, about identities for sale, appeared on “60 Minutes II.” Two stories carried by public television stations won Emmys. A&E, ABC and CNN took home one Emmy each. Lou Dobbs, anchor and managing editor of CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Fox Signs Deal With Cowell, ‘Idol’ Producers

Fox has reached an agreement with “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell that will ensure his continued on-air participation through at least five more seasons of the network’s top-rated reality music competition. Mr. Cowell, whose contract with Fox was set to expire after the 2006 installment of “Idol” concluded, also settled a lawsuit with “Idol” creator Simon Fuller, who had accused Mr. Cowell of using the “Idol” format in his new United Kingdom talent show, “X-Factor.” Fox also announced last week that it has made an agreement with Mr. Fuller’s 19 Entertainment Ltd. and FremantleMedia North America to extend their partnership to produce “Idol.” Meanwhile, Fox Reality has acquired the rights to televise the most recent season of “American Idol” leading up to the fifth season premiere on sister network Fox, the cable channel announced last week. Fox Reality will also rerun season five after its broadcast debut.

CBS, Hearst-Argyle Strike Affiliation Agreement

Hearst-Argyle Television will receive nearly $2.1 million from CBS in the first two years of a 10-year affiliation agreement, but will no longer receive network compensation starting in year three, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In the filing, submitted Nov. 22 by Hearst-Argyle, CBS will pay the television station group $660,000 in the first year, and then $330,000 in the second year, to carry the network’s signal on Hearst-Argyle’s CBS affiliate WLKY-TV in Louisville, Ky. CBS will also pay Des Moines, Iowa, CBS affiliate KCCI-TV $726,000 in the first year, and $363,000 in the second year. By the third year, CBS’s payment to the two stations will be zero.

‘Late Show’ Hits a High

Oprah Winfrey’s Dec. 1 appearance on CBS’s “Late Show With David Letterman” attracted 13.45 million viewers, the largest audience for “Late Show” in more than 10 years and its fourth-largest audience of all time. The show also delivered a 4.4 rating with adults 18 to 49, the show’s highest number in that demographic since Feb. 21, 2000, when Mr. Letterman returned after having heart surgery.

Family TV Awards Unveil Honors

The WB’s long-running family drama “7th Heaven” received the lifetime achievement award and UPN’s comedy “Everybody Hates Chris” received the best new series award last week at the Seventh Annual Family Television Awards in Beverly Hills. The awards, which recognize outstanding programming for family viewing between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., are presented by the Family Friendly Programming forum. The show will be televised on The WB Sunday, Dec. 11, at 8 p.m.